Alberni MMA may be just a step a way

Port Alberni resident Sam Barney has fought in MMA events in Nanaimo and Kamloops and now he wants to bring the sport to Maht Mahs gym in Tseshaht.

Tseshaht tribe member and MMA fighter Sampson Barney wants to bring the sport to the Maht Mahs gym for one night next year.

A Port Alberni resident who fights in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) abroad wants to bring the sport Tseshaht’s Maht Mahs gym in the Valley.

Sam Barney, 29, fights in the MMA welterweight category.

In July at Kamloops Sagebursh Downs Barney braved a thumb injury and blitzed his way through is opponents to go 3-0 and win his division’s title.

“There are certain things a person is just made to do and I’m made to do this,” he said.

Barney has fought at MMA events in Nanaimo and in Kamloops.

The Nanaimo event attracted more than 800 people to the Port Theatre in addition to the 40 fighters and their supporters.

Seeing that many people at an MMA event gave Barney an idea.

“I want to see if I can rent Maht Mahs gym  for one night and bring MMA here sometime in 2012,” he said.

They gym is located on the Tseshaht reserve, holds up to 500 people and has a commercial kitchen facility.

The sport isn’t a bloodfest of mayhem like some would think, Barney said.

“There’s weight categories, rules, regulations and referees so it’s a lot safer than people think.”

“I’ve seen more fights and guys getting hurt at floor hockey tournaments.”

It wouldn’t be the first time someone tried to bring MMA to the Valley.

In January,

Nanaimo fight promoter Don Arnott withdrew his request to host an MMA event in Port Alberni city limits after city council soured on  the idea.

But Barney’s initiative would take place on federal reserve land and would require the Tseshaht council’s support.

Barney hasn’t spoken to Tseshaht officials yet but said he hopes to approach them soon with is idea.

“Don (Arnott) said if they’re interested then he is,” Barney said.

MMA has been of interest to Barney since his childhood.

“My dad bought me boxing gloves, a speed bag and a heavy bag when I was 10 years old,” he said.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

By-election set for Beaufort and Cherry Creek areas

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District by-election will take place Apr. 6

ARTS AROUND: Port Alberni artists showcase a range of mediums

“Into the Forest” will feature everything from watercolours to quilting

Divers explore the deeps of Sproat Lake using vintage equipment

Heritage Hard Hat Divers will have a maritime heritage exhibit in Port Alberni

EDITORIAL: In face of tough week, Port Alberni first responders deserve our respect

Last week was a difficult week for first responders in the Alberni Valley…

Alberni group focuses on stigmatization as biggest barrier to opioid crisis

Community session planned to raise dialogue on opioid crisis response

Canada’s archive buys rare book that hints at Nazi plans for North America

The 1944 book may have served as a blueprint for a Nazi purge

Teravainen’s 3 points lift Hurricanes to 5-2 win over Canucks

Vancouver heads into all-star break on losing note

47 men arrested by Vancouver police for allegedly seeking sex with teenage girls

Seven of those arrested have been charged as part of a two-month operation

B.C. hospital apologizes for veteran’s five-day hallway stay

Clinical director of Victoria General Hospital says case of retired veteran ‘definitely excessive’

Speaker Darryl Plecas says ‘justice’ needed for legislature employees

Plecas spoke to media at the opening of a pedestrian and cycling bridge in Abbotsford Wednesday

Advocate hopes B.C. legislature scandal leads to more transparency

‘Depressing’ that it takes a scandal to inspire freedom of information reform, says Sara Neuert

‘Dr. Lipjob’ avoids jail, gets 30-day suspended sentence

She will have to serve the 30 days in prison if she commits a breach during her two-year’s probation

Ex-Mountie involved in Taser death at Vancouver airport sues government

Kwesi Millington claims he acted in accordance with RCMP training

LETTER: Seniors home care, day programs expanding, Adrian Dix says

B.C. health minister responds to latest Seniors Advocate report

Most Read